Airlines look at GDS data to boost revenues

Airlines and GDSs working closer than ever before

Airlines are working together with global distribution systems to find ways to use customer data to raise revenues beyond ticket sales, news agency Reuters reports. This is bringing airlines and GDSs closer than ever before.

Normal retailers are using inventive ways to use such data, but airlines have been slower in, for example, harvesting the wealth of information in frequent flyer loyalty schemes. Discovering additional sources of revenue is vital as airlines worldwide will achieve a net profit margin of only 2.4% this year.

Retailers can easily obtain and use information from consumers who shop regularly. But because air travel is a less regular activity, airlines need help to get a better focus on habits and spending.

Sabre stores customer transactions for three years – about 1,000 pieces of data per customer. But the GDS says that airlines are also asking for data on passengers’ social media profiles and activity.

“We have to help them extract that and use it,” said Stan Boyer of Sabre Airline Solutions.

Amadeus, which powers flight search systems for airlines and comparison sites, sees an opportunity to expand into hotel bookings and intelligence on travel shopping. This can help airlines.

Research shows that passengers are often concerned only with price when booking tickets but will spend more when they reach the airport and board flights. That provides a chance for targeted marketing, for anything from food and drink to consumer products.


[image courtesy Travelport]

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